By Sarah Cole
Literature has lengthy sought to make experience of the destruction and aggression wrought by means of human civilization. but no unmarried literary flow was once extra powerfully formed by way of violence than modernism. As Sarah Cole exhibits, modernism emerged as an inventive reaction to the devastating occasions that outlined the interval, together with the chaos of anarchist bombings, international warfare I, the Irish rebellion, and the Spanish Civil conflict. Combining ancient aspect with ingenious readings of fiction, poetry, journalism, images, and different cultural fabrics, At the Violet Hour explores the unusual intimacy among modernist aesthetics and violence within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries.
The First international warfare and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land reveal the hot theoretical paradigm that Cole deploys all through her examine, what she calls "enchanted" and "disenchanted" violence-the polarizing perceptions of violent demise as both the gasoline for regeneration or the logo of ugly loss. those suggestions thread throughout the literary-historical moments that shape the middle of her examine, starting with anarchism and the appearance of dynamite violence in overdue Victorian England. As evinced in novels via Joseph Conrad, Henry James, and others, anarchism fostered a colourful, sleek recognition of violence entrenched in sensationalism and melodrama. A next bankruptcy bargains 4 interpretive categories-keening, generative violence, reprisal, and allegory-for studying violence in works via W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, Sean O'Casey, and others round the time of Ireland's Easter emerging. The e-book concludes with a dialogue of Virginia Woolf's oeuvre, putting the writer in basic relatives to the encroaching tradition of violence: deeply exploring and formalizing its registers; and veering clear of her friends to build an unique set of styles to house its visceral ubiquity within the years major as much as the second one global War.
A wealthy interdisciplinary research that includes views from heritage, anthropology, the visible arts, and literature, At the Violet Hour provides a resonant framework for refiguring the connection among aesthetics and violence that might expand some distance past the interval generally linked to literary modernism.
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Additional info for At the violet hour : modernism and violence in England and Ireland
Clearly, Döblin wants us to reflect upon the connection between humans and animals. 30 Just as clearly, the slaughterhouse sequence seems to evade that rubric, as comparison shrinks away and the sheer horror of the treatment of the animals becomes its own study. The spectacle, moreover, has an uncomfortable resilience throughout the novel, felt, for instance, in the presence of cattle dealers, in descriptions of meat eating, in continual tabulations of slaughterhouse inventory, and even in direct revisions of the novel’s own statements of animal-human continuity, so that human loss is presented, finally, as more significant than the suffering of an animal.
Destruction, clearly, is at the core of the process. 65 Nevertheless, as the early twentieth century had begun to see, the first strike against the land often sets in motion an exploitative and expropriative process underpinned by violence and inequality. Most grotesquely, what can be at stake in all 32 AT THE VIOLET HOUR of this is the elimination of people, even populations. 66 In British works, where the configurations differ markedly, in part because national origins are not at issue in the same way, the pattern nevertheless has significant life, often (though not exclusively) in the colonial context.
Each, in contact with force, is subjected to its inexorable action, which is to render those it touches either mute or deaf,” she writes, and further: “Such is the character of force. Its power to transform human beings into things is twofold and operates on two fronts; in equal but different ways, it petrifies the souls of those who undergo it and those who ply it” (Weil, 61). Weil’s account of how perpetrator and victim are swept up together into a single phenomenon is deeply problematic as an ethical idea.